Today I want to celebrate a really special person, and someone I was lucky enough to call a friend: Shawn Mortensen. Not only was he an unreal photographer, he was an all-around cool fucking human. I’m pretty sure it would be hard to find anyone that would have a negative thing to say about him. His passion for life was infectious, but it was his constant whirlwind of creative energy I will always remember him for. Many people reading this may never have met Shawn, but I bet you have seen some of his work. He shot some of the most iconic pictures of Sonic Youth, Tupac, Biggie Smalls, Dr. Dre, Snoop Dog, Henry Rollins and many more. His non-industry work also left a mark on this world – Shawn’s pictures of the Zapatistas are moving and thought-provoking. Then there are the flicks he took in Ethiopia and Jamaica, that actually make you feel like you are there. His kind aura allowed him to make the people his was shooting feel completely comfortable and natural while he was taking a picture of them. More than anything, Shawn was a giver of art, & a giver to those that were in need on any level. The best way for him to be remembered is through all of his awesome photos – make sure to check out his new website that his family has set up HERE! Big hugs to Shawn Mortensen!
Whatever Ghost BC is doing, they seem to be excelling at it. I can’t say I’m a fan, but this show was sold out weeks in advance. The venue, not small by any means, was packed full of smiling fans singing along. The merch line was no less than 90 people long until everyone had a thirty dollar shirt and an LP in their hands. Those LPs sold out not more than a week or so into tour. I’m sure the dildos will sell out too, if they haven’t already. Now, I could attempt to delve into the Ghost spectacle, hypothesize the mystery, who/why and so on, but I think there’s been enough of that circulating already so I won’t bore you with more of it here. On with the show…
China has been an issue for Western governments for a lot longer than the neo-red penny scare of the past decade. At the end of the 19th century, the Boxer Rebellion caused chaos for the ruling Qing dynasty, and resulted in a repression of the most brutal kind, with rebels and government officials who supported the Boxers being executed and tortured in horrible ways. The Boxers, or the Society of Righteous and Harmonious Fists, began as a secret society who turned into a rebel force, responding to what they saw as the hordes of western christian missionaries invading their villages and attempting to convert their countrymen. They embraced the slogan “Support the Qing, destroy the foreigners,” and hunted down Chinese christian converts and the foreign missionaries. Their aggression towards the missionaries was taken as aggression towards Western European nations, who banded together to form the Eight-Nation Alliance, made up of the UK, Japan, Russia, France, the US, Germany, Austria-Hungary and Italy. A funny bunch considering the events that would later unfold! This imperialist force marched on China, driving back the Boxers and ravaging the countryside. Chinese people with long memories might relish the position these nations find themselves in today, groveling at their feet for loans. Below check out a series of photos of some of the brutal punishments and executions that took place during and after the Boxer rebellion.
For more than two decades, DOOM has stood firm and created some of the raddest crust on this planet! A couple weeks ago, they made their way to Vancouver and straight fucking ripped shit. Our comrade Ted Reckoning was on hand and captured the gnarly on film. The night started off with Rapid Loss and Koszmar who both ripped shit. Now check out these unreal pictures of all 3 bands!
All photos & text by Luana Magalhães
Their microphone-less screaming alone would have been enough to consider them one of the bands of the weekend, as those inhuman howls could be heard from the hallway outside. The fact that their black metal fury even outclasses what can be heard on their records helps, too.
Looking forward to this show for a while, and especially curious to see the new incarnation of Valdur, I showed up late and missed Valdur. I also missed Sein Und Zeit and Maledict. Sorry guys! I did catch Ritual Combat and of course headliners/local renaissance men Lightning Swords Of Death.
The Black Castle is always a little or a lot different every time I go. This time, a pair of gogo cages had been erected, although they were missing something (the something is gogo dancers). Also, there was a bar… inside? Upon realizing this, I harkened back to the days of the backyard beer trailer. Sure, the unofficial Budweiser Uhaul caused much unnecessary human congestion – so bad that one could easily miss three or four songs of a band’s set just trying to ford the fjord of bodies after buying a beer – but still, it was one of many factors that gave the Castle that certain… I don’t know what. Now we must line up and buy our beer indoors like regular jerkoffs.
Anyway, Ritual Combat rollicked through a set of ripping blackened war metal, impressive as per usual. I was inspired by the drummer having the chuff to sport sunglasses indoors at night while wearing a Ritual Combat tshirt, seated directly in front of a matching Ritual Combat banner. Ritual Combat.
Lightning Swords Of Death came on next, giving us a swirling foggy room feel with trodding ancient drum patterns and pulsating guitar licks. Menno the bass man doing the lucky finger dance up and down the fretboard, Inverted Chris handling the chirps, squeals and noodles, Roskva deep stage left as captain of the riff ship, and Farron literally bending over backwards to let the hypnotic belchy chanting tumble from his chasm. It should be noted that LSOD has acquired a new skin pounder, and he performed splendidly, blasting his way through a demanding set of USBM. All in all, a fun night!
All photos & text by Luana Magalhães
Arguably the most intense, harrowing performance of the whole festival, Amenra were pure catharsis – the outpouring of pain and anguish was evident in each blood-curding Colin Eeckhout scream and every resounding note of their instruments. Most massive sound of the weekend too – the soundcheck before the show alone was enough to nearly rearrange internal organs.
How many of you have a photo of you as a small child screaming on the lap of some tarted-up potential child molester, aka “Santa Claus” or the “Easter Bunny”? Parents can’t seem to resist these photo opportunities, and for some reason our society has decided that these pseudo-christian holidays should be marked by photos of our children on the laps of grown men in weird furry suits…makes sense in a twisted way I guess. From the photos below, obviously most children are not down with this; their inner weirdo radar goes off like crazy and the result is a photo of sheer terror. Some misguided children look happy to be nestled into their tormentor’s lap, but I’m sure the nightmarish faces of some of these homemade bunny suits still haunted them years later. Speaking of which, many of these suits are not of the modern day made in China clone variety – they are fashioned by hand from the mind of a madman. Their faces are a mirror into the soul of humankind and our absolute lack of respect for the spectacular beauty of nature. They are fucking creepy and nothing like real bunnies. Even Jesus would be terrified, and he was a zombie. Enjoy!